3 Essential Beginner Tips For Buying Vintage Rings

Author David Millette
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Date Feb 11, 2015

vintage rings3_Essential_Beginner_Tips_For_BuyingIn recent years, vintage rings have seen a boom in popularity. From long time collectors to first time shoppers, everyone loves vintage rings!

There is a set of challenges that the shopper is presented with when buying used jewelry. For vintage rings, this is especially true as the busy designs can make it hard to recognize imperfections.

We believe that there is a perfect piece for everybody, they just need to find the one that speaks to them. Here are some of our beginner tips to help on your hunt for the perfect vintage ring:

1) Check the ring size and see if it is possible to re-size

When you find a ring that catches your eye, be sure to try it on. A ring's fit is important because if it's too loose the ring could fall off and if it's too tight you will reduce circulation in your finger. Most rings can be altered and re-sized to fit you, however this isn't always the case with vintage rings. Due to the age and complex design of these rings, they are easy to destroy when making major alterations.

If you are absolutely in love with a ring that isn't your size, there may still be a chance you can make it fit. Our advice would be to meet with a jeweler before making a purchase. They will be able to tell you if the ring is able to be sized and what sizes are attainable. They are also able to attach a spacer to your ring to give it a snug fit you your finger.

2) Search for blemishes

All estate jewelry carries the wear and tear placed on it by previous owners. When examining a ring, look for the blemishes and determine how major they are. Search both the band and the stones. You may be able to polish small blemishes out of the metal band; however, you should consult a jeweler to determine if any marks are too deep to fix.

Scratches and chips on the stones have no easy fix. You can try to get the stone recut, but this will make it too small for the setting it was previously in. You will need to determine if any present blemishes are deal breakers or if you can live with the imperfections. If you notice a blemish but still want to purchase the piece, it is likely that you will get it at a cheaper price.

3) Look for any missing stones and examine prongs holding stones in place

Missing stones are usually easy to identify as there will be an empty setting where it once was. It's up to you to decide if this is something you can live with. In some cases it may be possible to replace the stone, but this can be expensive and you risk ruining the ring in the process.

Whether there is a missing stone or not, you should examine the prongs that are holding the stones in place. Check to see that the stones feel secure and that the prongs haven't been bent or warped. If a ring has already lost a stone, it could be a sign that the others are close to falling out.

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